Turkish columnists face charge of insulting Islam

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation Thursday into two columnists from the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet for charges of insulting hatred and public enmity, and insulting “religious values.”

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo released its first issue on Wednesday since the brutal attack on its offices that killed 12 people last week, with a new cartoon showing the Prophet Muhammad on the cover.

The cartoons were also published in six languages by daily newspapers across the world, including Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor and many others have filed criminal complaints against the two daily Cumhuriyet columnists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya for using the ‘insulting’ cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Karan and Cetinkaya now face charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting “religious values”…


Note: Cumhuriyet (“The Republic”) was founded in 1924. Wiki calls it “center-left,” an increasingly meaningless definition. It must have been inspired by Atatürk’s revolution after World War I.

I suppose a certain secular feeling must still live on at the paper. I doubt those cartoons were published in any other Muslim majority country. It appears to have no English version.

In any case, it could scarcely be more out of step with Erdogan’s new Islamic slow-motion revolution.  The new charges sound like something from Iran’s revolution —people were arrested and charged for similar things.

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